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Divalproex Sodium

Brand Name:Depakote, Depakote ER, Depakote Sprinkles

Generic Name: Divalproex Sodium

Drug Class:Anticonvulsants, Others

What Is Divalproex Sodium and How Does It Work?

Divalproex sodium is a stable coordination compound comprised of sodium valproate and valproic acid used to treat manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder, epilepsy, and migraine headaches.

Divalproex sodium is available under the following different brand names: Depakote, Depakote ER, and Depakote Sprinkles.

Dosages of Divalproex Sodium:

Dosage Forms and Strengths

Dosages expressed as valproic acid equivalents

Tablet, delayed-release (Depakote)

  • 125mg
  • 250mg
  • 500mg

Tablet, extended-release (Depakote ER)

  • 250mg
  • 500mg

Capsule (Depakote Sprinkles)

  • 125mg

Dosage Considerations – Should be Given as Follows:


Indicated for treatment of manic episodes associated with bipolar disorder

Depakote initial dose: 750 mg/day orally in divided doses

Depakote ER initial dose: 25 mg/kg orally once daily Increase as rapidly as possible to achieve the lowest therapeutic dose that provides desired clinical effect or plasma concentration

Not to exceed 60 mg/kg/day


Complex partial seizures: Indicated as monotherapy and adjunctive therapy for complex partial seizures that occur either in isolation or in association with other types of seizures

Simple and complex absence seizures: Also indicated for use as sole and adjunctive therapy in the treatment of simple and complex absence seizures, and adjunctively in patients with multiple seizure types that include absence seizures

Adult: 10-15 mg/kg/day orally initially; may increase by 5-10 mg/kg/week to achieve optimal clinical response; not to exceed 60 mg/kg/day

Depakote: If daily dose greater than 250 mg, give as divided dose


  • 10-15 mg/kg/day orally initially; may increase by 5-10 mg/kg/week to achieve optimal clinical response; not to exceed 60 mg/kg/day
  • Children under 10 years: Safety and efficacy not established

Migraine Prophylaxis

Indicated for prophylaxis of migraine headaches; there is no evidence of use for acute treatment

Depakote initial dose: 250 mg orally twice daily for 1 week

Depakote ER initial dose: 500 mg orally once/day for 1 week

May increase dose up to 1000 mg/day if needed

Dosage Modifications

Conversion to monotherapy: Decrease concomitant anti-epilepsy drug dosage approximately 25% every 2 weeks

Renal impairment

  • No adjustment necessary; protein binding is reduced and may cause measurement of total valproate concentrations to be inaccurate

Hepatic impairment

  • Administer lower doses
  • Contraindicated in severe impairment

Dosing Considerations

Monitor liver function tests (LFT's)

Conversion from Depakote to Depakote ER: Administered Depakote ER once daily using a dose 8-20% higher than the total daily dose of Depakote

Therapeutic range

  • Low serum albumin levels may cause an increase in unbound drug (while total concentration may appear normal)
  • Epilepsy: 50-100 mcg/mL total valproate
  • Mania: 50-125 mcg/mL total valproate; maximum concentrations generally achieved within 14 days


Swallow whole, do not chew or crush

Capsules may be opened and sprinkled on spoonful of soft food immediately before administration

If dose is skipped, do not double next dose

Depakote or Depakote Sprinkles: If daily dose greater than 250 mg, give as divided dose

Depakote ER: Administer once daily

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/8/2017

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